Do You Work Well With Other People? (With How to Answer)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published June 17, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Interviews allow employers to learn about a candidate personally and assess their qualifications for a particular role. A common question asked in interviews is, "Do you work well with other people?", which evaluates a candidate's ability to collaborate and work as part of a team. Knowing how to answer this question can help you impress the interviewer and improve your chances of getting hired.
In this article, we share tips to answer the question, “Do you work well with other people?”, discuss why hiring managers usually ask this question, explain how to respond to the question, and highlight some tips on having an effective interview and working well with others.
Tips to prepare your answer to, “Do you work well with other people?”
If a hiring manager asks, "Do you work well with other people?", you can use the opportunity to showcase your interpersonal skills. These skills are essential in the workplace because they can help you build relationships, resolve conflict, and work effectively as part of a team. For example, you can mention a time when you had to work with a challenging individual and how you were able to manage the situation. It's also important to address how your background and qualifications make you a good fit for the role. Here are a few tips that can help you identify your most relevant qualifications:
Consider what the employer is seeking
When preparing for an interview, it's essential to research the company and the specific role. This can give you a better understanding of what the employer is looking for in a candidate. For example, if the job posting emphasizes teamwork, focus on examples of when you've worked effectively as part of a team.
Think about your experiences
Your personal and professional experiences can provide examples of times when you've demonstrated interpersonal skills. For example, think about times when you've had to resolve conflict, work with difficult people, or manage a team. These are all examples of situations where your interpersonal skills might have been useful.
It's important to be honest when answering this question in an interview. If you don't have experience working with others, then avoid providing inaccurate information. Instead, you can focus on other qualifications that make you a good fit for the role. For example, if you're a recent graduate, you can discuss your leadership experiences in extracurricular activities or academic achievements.
Realize that everyone has different strengths
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and it's important that you're aware of yours. It's also crucial for you to understand that you can work with others despite your weaknesses. For example, if you know that you have difficulty handling criticism, you can mention that you've been improving this skill.
Why do interviewers ask this question?
Interviewers often ask this question to understand more about a candidate's interpersonal skills. Employers want to know if candidates can cooperate with others and work effectively as part of a team. People who demonstrate that they can work well with others may be more likely to impress the interviewer and increase their chances of obtaining the job.
Interviewers may also ask follow-up questions about how you've handled conflict in the past or give you a hypothetical situation and ask how you might react. These questions help assess your ability to resolve conflict and work constructively with others. You can also expect questions about your teamwork skills if you apply for a role that requires working in a team environment.
How to answer this question in an interview
Asking about whether you work well with others is one of the most common questions asked in job interviews. It can also be challenging to answer, as you might want to highlight your teamwork skills but also your ability to work independently. Here's a list of steps you can take if you are interested in learning how to answer this question :
1. Do your research
Before your interview, be sure you learn about the company and position for which you are applying. This can help you answer questions more confidently, showing the interviewer that you're genuinely interested in the role. It can also help you ask more informed questions.
2. Prepare answers for common questions
Some questions are standard for most interviews, so it's essential you prepare for them. You can practise your responses to questions like, “Tell me about yourself" and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” in advance to deliver them confidently. Knowing what to expect can also help you stay calm during the interview.
3. Give specific examples
It's helpful to support your answers in interviews with specific examples. This can help prove to the interviewer that you have the skills you claimed to have on your resume or cover letter. For example, you might say, “I remember working on a project with a team of people, and we had some disagreements about how to proceed. I listened to everyone's opinion and then communicated my opinion so that everyone was able to understand. I think this helped us move forward and work well together.”
4. End with a positive statement
When answering this question, be sure to end positively. This can help leave the interviewer with a good impression of you. For example, you can say, “I enjoy working with other people, and I'm confident that I have the skills to do so effectively. I'm looking forward to working on a team in this role.”
Tips for having a great interview
Here are a few general tips to help you succeed in your next interview:
Dress professionally: Choose an outfit that's professional and appropriate for the industry. This can show the interviewer that you take the process seriously.
Arrive early: Try to arrive 10 or 15 minutes early for your interview. This can provide you with enough time to relax and review your thoughts before the meeting.
Make eye contact: When you're answering questions, make eye contact with the interviewer. This can show you're confident and engaged in the conversation.
Smile: Smiling can help you create a relaxed environment and make you seem more likable. It might also make the interview feel more like a conversation.
Practice: Besides preparing for common questions, it's also a good idea to practise your delivery. You might try recording yourself or role-playing with a friend to get comfortable with the format.
Ask questions: At the end of the interview, an interviewer may allow you to ask questions. This is your chance to ask about the company's projects, business strategy, or environmental initiatives.
Follow up: After the interview, send a thank-you note to the interviewer. You can also use this opportunity to reaffirm your interest in the position and reiterate why you're the best candidate for the job.
Tips for working well with others
Here are a few tips that can help you work well with others:
Be willing to compromise: Every team is different, and it's important to be open-minded to working well with others. For example, you might compromise on how you like to complete tasks to accommodate the team.
Be a good listener: Listening to others and hearing what they say is essential to help you understand their perspective and develop solutions that work for everyone. You can practise active listening by repeating what the other person said and asking clarifying questions.
Be respectful: It's essential to be respectful of others when working together. This includes using people's preferred pronouns, being mindful of their personal space, and not interrupting them when they're speaking.
Communicate clearly: It's also important to communicate clearly. By doing this, there might be fewer chances of misunderstandings.
Be patient: Working with others can be challenging, so it's essential to be patient. If someone isn't meeting your expectations, try to understand why.
Consider everyone's needs: When working on a team, it's important to consider everyone's needs. For example, if you're working on a project, you can consider people's schedules and workloads.
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